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VANCOUVER ISLAND OCEAN FISHING
Our experienced guides work as a team to ensure you the best sport fishing experience British Columbia has to offer.
Salmon FishingWhen we go salmon fishing off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, we'll be fishing Springs (otherwise known as Chinook or King Salmon) as well as Coho a.k.a Silver Salmon. In the fall we also target Chum Salmon.
Our salmon season begins in April targeting Chinook salmon ranging anywhere from 12-25 lbs with the ever present possibility of a tyee. Coho are legal starting June 1. Late September and October see in the run of Chum Salmon, otherwise known as Dog Salmon. They weigh in between 10 and 18pounds.
The only hindrance to a long winter salmon fishery on Vancouver Island, BC is the weather, which usually changes for the worse in late October. No need to put your fishing tackle away all winter, though. We start our winter fishery usually Christmas Day and there is always a salmon to bring home for dinner. You'll find us on the water from January to April when the weather allows, going after the winter Springs. Winter Spring Salmon fishing is catching on for good reasons: the fish are terrific battlers and fine eaters. Springs, Coho, Chum... they're all salmon. They're all fun.
Bottom Fishing for Halibut, Ling Cod, and RockfishIf you want to target the best Pacific halibut fishing, plan to come on or after April 1st. Ling Cod open on April 15th so to maximize both in the early season we say come on or after April 15th.
Did you know that Halibut can be aged like a tree? It has growth rings in its inner ear. I'm not kidding. You can age your halibut by counting these rings. And did you know that a halibut lives over 30 years? The oldest one on record is 55 years. In fact, mature female halibut begin breeding at age 12 and males at age 8 and continue breeding each year for the rest of their lives (over 30 years). Each female lays between 200,000 and 500,000 eggs. That's a minimum of 4,000,000 halibut eggs released by one of these big spawners. A female halibut can reach the unbelievable size of 9 feet and weigh 700 lbs whereas the males don't usually grow above 40 lbs.
The best tasting size of halibut is between 15 and 30 lbs. This size of halibut is frequently called "chicken of the sea". We prefer to target the "chickens" for two reasons: one, they taste the best, and because we want to preserve our future breeding stock. A large halibut (over 60 lbs) is a great trophy but difficult to cook, they're just too darn thick! Remember, the longer they live in the ocean the more bad stuff they pick up and you eat so stick with the chickens for flavour and health.
We have a very plentiful crop of ling cod in our waters all year long. The season opens mid April and closes Mid october. Ling Cod are my favourite white fish. I should warn you though they take way longer to cook than a halibut. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But the taste is worth it! Sooooooo delish.
So many varieties of rockfish to experience. Common catches include Yellow Eye Snapper, Red Snapper, Vermillion, Tiger Rock Fish, China Rock fish Quill Back, Copper Rockfish, Boccacio and Silver Grey and the list keeps on and on. So delicious to eat and so interesting to catch and admire. They do live deep though. Be prepared to keep what you catch because once they come up they can't swim back down.
Tuna FishingYes you heard it right. It is one of the most unique fishing experiences on the coast and the best kept secret. It is an ocean safari and an experience that every bonafide fisherperson should manage once in their lifetime. You'll be hunting for tuna, looking for signs, travelling a lot on the open ocean with an amazing variety of wilderness life right there around you as you hunt. And when the tuna come they come with a vengeance.
In 2015 the tuna season began in July and ended mid September when the water turned cold. Traditionally the season has begun later in August generally winding up by September 20th. Who can say what 2016 will bring but we will keepmyou posted. We like to advise tuna hunters to plan to come later in August and through the first half of September just based on the traditional information we have but if you are coming in early August or late July who knows. You might be able to take advantage of one amazing fishery.
Tuna fight like a racehorse and the sizes range between 15 40 lbs. Much bigger than that and the gear is gone. Totally. You have to be patient and be prepared to hunt them for hours. Sometimes it all comes on at once. And it costs more in fuel so there is a surcharge. But it really is a trophy experience. If you want more details give Blondy a call.
The fishing trip with the Bicknells was awesome! You all made me feel as a member of the family instantly, taught me to love getting up at 4:30 am, and fed me with gourmet style! Even the fishing was fantastic! Each of these items would have been great alone, but combined they were fantastic. I am enclosing a picture of me (in my lucky fishing earmuffs) with Walt helping me hold up a prize Chinook! Thank you all so very much. I hope to visit again....after I have eaten/served all the fabulous fish I brought home! Thank you for being such great hosts, guides and environmentalists!